COVID 19: accelerator or demolisher of the RME Agenda?

Mathias Falkenstein, Ulrich Hommel, Annie Snelson-Powell

Research output: Contribution to journalSpecial issuepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: The purpose of this essay is to enrich the discussion at the intersection of responsible management education (RME) and the pandemic with new views that explore together the inhibitors of and drivers for a strengthening of RME in the emerging context. On the one hand, the pandemic crisis fosters the social role business schools play by supporting the enhancement of the RME rationale as an idealist foundational pillar of responsible business schools. On the other hand, it invites negative pragmatic responses in the light of financial and competitive disturbances that seem to enlarge the opportunity cost of moving RME forward.
Approach: The essay puts forward arguments that help dissect the inherent contradictions and synergies between idealistic and pragmatic business school strategies, as they are impacted by the dynamics of COVID-19. The analysis serves to frame a discourse over the extent to which the pandemic crisis is acting as an accelerator of the RME agenda or instead brings the risk of demolishing what has been achieved so far.
Findings: We form an opinion of the emerging factors that promote and inhibit RME in business schools as they grapple with the challenges of the pandemic, while recognizing the inherent contradictions faced in their strategic choices and resourcing.
Value: In light of the growing emphasis on RME in the literature, this study challenges the degree to which the agenda has already become firmly rooted as a core organizational and educational theme in business schools. By doing so, it delivers an assessment of RME progress as a relevant strategic lever for business schools, while nonetheless at risk of back-sliding.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Global Responsibility
Publication statusAcceptance date - 1 Jul 2021

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